NORDIC RESILIENCE: Strengthening Nordic crisis preparedness and security of supply cooperation

Livestream · 12.10.2022 14:00 - 15:30

Perceptions of crisis preparedness and security of supply in the Nordic region have undergone major changes. The COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated the fragility of many of the critical flows on which the Nordics depend for their security of supply. At the same time, the crisis heightened concerns over Nordic cooperation. Now, the war in Ukraine is causing further disruptions to critical supply chains, including energy, food, medical and raw material imports and serves as yet another reminder of the need to prepare for similar disruptions elsewhere and having a resilient system in place that can tackle a variety of threats.

A concrete consequence of Russia’s aggression has also been the shift in international alliances as it nudged Finland and Sweden towards NATO membership. While their membership will enable deeper operative planning with other Nordic NATO member states, it cannot entirely replace Nordic cooperation. It will, however, increase the strategic importance of the whole region also from Russia’s perspective. How can a region as interconnected as the Nordic best enhance its resilience in the current security environment? What concrete actions should be taken at a Nordic level to better prepare it for future crises and global supply disruptions?

The seminar is part of the research project ‘Managing Competitive Interdependence in Northern Europe: Nordic Security of Supply in the Age of Disruption’ and marks the launch of its final report titled ‘Nordic Resilience: Strengthening Nordic Cooperation in the Age of Disruption’. The project has been funded by the Nordic Council of Ministers.


Opening remarks and chair: 
Mika Aaltola, Director, FIIA

Introductory remarks: 
Dag Wernø Holter, Senior Advisor, Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Presentation of the report: 
Mikael Wigell, Research Director, FIIA

Wivi Wagello-Sjölund, Ministerial Adviser, Ministry of the Interior of Finland
Nuutti Nikula, Head of Strategy, National Emergency Supply Agency of Finland

Closing remarks: 
Thomas Blomqvist, Minister for Nordic Cooperation and Equality, Finland



Opening remarks and chair

Mika Aaltola

Director, FIIA

Mika Aaltola is the Director of FIIA. Dr Aaltola is also a Professor of International Relations at Tallinn University, Estonia, and holds the rank of Docent at Tampere University. He has been a Visiting Fellow at Cambridge University, Sciences Po (CERI), and Johns Hopkins as well as a Visiting Professor at the University of Minnesota. His areas of expertise include the global role of the U.S., the dynamics of power politics, and Finnish foreign policy. His latest published monograph is titled “Democratic Vulnerability and Autocratic Meddling – The ‘Thucydidean Brink’ in Regressive Geopolitical Competition” (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2021).

Introductory remarks

Dag Wernø Holter

Senior Advisor, Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Dag Wernø Holter was born in 1952 and graduated in History of Ideas from the University of Oslo in 1981. He joined the Norwegian foreign service in 1982, and has served at Norwegian diplomatic missions in Beijing, Brussels, New York and Paris, and as Ambassador of Norway to Iceland from 2010 to 2014. From 2015 to 2018 he served as Deputy Secretary General of EFTA, based in Brussels. He is presently a Senior Advisor in the presidency team during Norway’s presidency of the Nordic Council of Ministers in 2022.

Presentation of the report

Mikael Wigell

Research Director, FIIA

Mikael Wigell is Research Director at the Finnish Institute of International Affairs and Adjunct Professor in International Political Economy at the University of Tampere. He earned his PhD at the London School of Economics, and he has been a Visiting Fellow at Oxford University. He has also been a Member of the Development Policy Committee of the Finnish Government and President of the Finnish International Studies Association. He currently leads the International Business Risk and Resilience Monitor for Strengthening National Economic Preparedness-project funded by the European Commission, as well as the Nordic Security of Supply in an Age of Disruption-project funded by the Nordic Council of Ministers. His latest book is as editor of the volume Geo-economics and Power Politics in the 21st Century (Routledge, 2018; 2020).


Wivi Wagello-Sjölund

Ministerial Adviser, Ministry of the Interior of Finland

Wivi-Ann Wagello-Sjölund works at the Ministry of the Interior of Finland, in the international section of the Department for Rescue services. Her main areas of responsibility are the EU`s civil protection and preparedness issues as well as Nordic crisis preparedness cooperation. Previously, Wagello-Sjölund has worked in the Ministry extensively on the issues of migration and asylum. She holds a Master´s degree in Law from the University of Helsinki, and the University of Uppsala, Sweden.

Closing remarks

Thomas Blomqvist

Minister for Nordic Cooperation and Equality, Finland

Thomas Blomqvist (Swedish People’s Party) is the Finnish Minister for Nordic Cooperation and Equality since 2019. He has been a Member of Parliament since 2007. Blomqvist first took an interest in social issues through municipal politics, and he has been a member of the local council since 1993; first in Ekenäs and then in Raseborg. He has also served as Chair of the Swedish Parliamentary Group.